The 10 Biggest Winners In Jeopardy History

If you added up all the winnings in all the daily games and the various tournaments from the biggest winners of Jeopardy! of all-time, it totals an astounding $18,297,507. Even more astounding is that two-thirds of that total, $12,271,352, has been won by only three players, including the legend Ken Jennings and risk-taking phenom James Holzhauer. However, the player who has won the most in total winnings might not be the person you are expecting.

For years, there was a rule on Jeopardy! that everyone who became a 5-Day Champion would “retire” from the game, take his or her winnings, and step down as a champ. They would automatically be invited to the annual Tournament of Champions, but beyond that, their run would be over. That rule changed before the start of Season 20 in 2003. As a result, the winnings by single players have increased dramatically, with nine of the current top ten winning their cash after the rule change.

When looking at the top ten winners of all-time on Jeopardy!, including everything they won as a contestant on the standard game as well as in various tournaments over the years — like the Tournament of Champions and other one-off tournaments the show has conducted — there are some interesting numbers to unfold. The official Jeopardy! totals do not include consolation prizes, so those have been noted separately when applicable. Here are the winningest Jeopardy! contestants of all time.

Jason Zuffranieri on Jeopardy.

(Image credit: Jeopardy)

10. Jason Zuffranieri ($532,496) 

Jason Zuffanieri, a math teacher from Albuquerque, New Mexico, made his first appearance on Jeopardy! on July 19, 2019. He went on to win $532,496 in his 19 wins, tying 2005 champion David Madden for what was, at the time, fifth place in consecutive games won. In 2021 the former rocket scientist returned for the Tournament of Champions, which was hosted by another Jeopardy! alum — Buzzy Cohen — following the death of Alex Trebek, where he advanced to the semifinals as a wild card, falling in that round. When factoring in that $10,000 consolation prize, plus the $2,000 consolation from his original loss, Zuffranieri took home a total of $544,496

Mattea Roach on Jeopardy!

(Image credit: Jeopardy!)

9. Mattea Roach ($560,983) 

Mattea Roach is the youngest and most recent champion on this list (her run spanned April and May 2022), as the tutor from Toronto compiled $560,983 in her 23-game win streak, plus the $2,000 consolation prize from her loss. As well as becoming the winningest Canadian in the game show’s history — an honor that would make Alex Trebek proud — Roach also became one of three contestants to shoot their age, so to speak, and match their age in Jeopardy! victories. As of this writing, Roach has not yet competed in the Tournament of Champions. 

Matt Jackson on Jeopardy!

(Image credit: Jeopardy!)

8. Matt Jackson ($611,612) 

A college student whose 13-day cash winnings totaled $411,612, Matt Jackson finished in second place in his season’s Tournament of Champions, earning $100,000, and winning another $100K in the 2019 All-Star Games as part of Ken Jennings’ team. Jackson finished his 13-show run in 2015 as the fourth-highest earner in Jeopardy! history. The graduate of Yale had tried twice to compete in the College Tournament, but was unsuccessful both times. Instead, he was finally successful in getting on the regular show and he certainly took advantage of it. With the $2,000 consolation prize from his original loss, Jackson took home a total of $613,612. 

Larissa Kelly on Jeopardy!

(Image credit: Jeopardy!)

7. Larissa Kelly ($655,930)

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